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Minnesota facing $4.7 billion budget deficit

Plus: Somali-American sisters say white man threatened violence after they stopped to take photo of turkey in Bloomington; Wisconsin Republicans ‘stand ready’ to strike down mask mandate; Minnesota AG Ellison files lawsuit against Itasca County ranch over rodeo; and more.

The Star Tribune’s Briana Bierschbach writes: “Minnesota lawmakers are facing a potential $4.7 billion deficit in the next two-year budget as the coronavirus pandemic continues to gobble up more resources than the state gets in revenue. Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans said in a new planning estimate Friday that the pandemic has made economic conditions ‘extremely volatile.’ … The updated numbers for 2022 and 2023, coming ahead of a state bond sale, continue a stunning deterioration of the state’s finances in a matter of months.”

In the Sahan Journal, Joey Peters writes: “On her way home early Friday morning, Nasro Abdullahi and her sister spotted a wild turkey on the side of the road near a Holiday gas station in Bloomington. Nasro, 20, who was bringing her sister, Hibo, 19, home from work in a car-tool machine shop, stopped the car to let her sister take a picture. … Nasro didn’t immediately notice a man behind her. He was taking video of her and her sister, she said, and soon approached their car. … The man, whom Nasro described as white and in his mid-50s, was on foot walking two dogs. He approached her car and started cursing at her, repeating that she was breaking the law. He threatened violence. ‘He said, “I’m going to shoot you!” Nasro said.’” 

The AP’s Scott Bauer writes: “Wisconsin Senate Republicans ‘stand ready’ to strike down the statewide mask mandate that Democratic Gov. Tony Evers announced on Thursday, the GOP Senate leader said Friday. Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald stopped short of promising that the Senate would vote to kill the order, which is slated to take effect on Saturday. Fitzgerald, a candidate for Congress who faces a GOP primary on Aug. 11, also did not indicate when the Senate might convene.”

Also in the Star Tribune, Patrick Condon writes: “U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar sparred Friday with Democratic rival Antone Melton-Meaux over who is best positioned to deliver progressive policy wins in an overwhelmingly liberal district that includes Minneapolis, now at the center of national debate over police and race issues. In a wide-ranging, hourlong debate on WCCO radio, Omar and Melton-Meaux were both put on the defensive about their massive fund­raising hauls from donors outside the Fifth District in a nationally watched primary on Aug. 11 that has attracted millions of dollars on each side.”

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Duluth’s WDIO reports: “Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison filed a civil lawsuit against the Itasca County ranch that went ahead with a public rodeo last weekend despite warnings about how many people could attend the event. The civil complaint filed Friday against North Star Ranch, LLC, accuses the Effie ranch of violating the governor’s emergency executive order when it allowed large crowds to attend its annual North Star Stampede without taking required safety precautions against the spread of COVID-19.”

KSTP-TV’s Kirsten Swanson reports: “Two different disability service providers in rural Minnesota communities have voted to dissolve their nonprofits, signaling the beginning of a series of closures that advocates have warned state officials about for months. Adult day programs and employment services have largely gone without any emergency funding from the state during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

WCCO-TV reports: “As some school districts roll out specifics of how the upcoming year will work, others haven’t yet, and parents are preparing for every scenario as best they can. Tracie Munce, the owner of Eagan Arms Public House, a pub in Eagan, plans to offer her employees with school-aged children a hybrid of daycare and classroom. Munce wants to turn a dining room that’s unused during the day into a learning space when school starts. She’s looking to hire a tutor to help facilitate the children’s distance learning.”